(CTN News) – There is around 70% of David Fincher’s new Netflix hitman movie The Killer, which is a fastidious director new movie about a hitman appearing on Netflix, consists of watching Michael Fassbender throw things in the trash that he no longer needs.
Disposable gloves, backpacks, guns, disguises, corpses, phones, identifying information, surplus packaging, the bun of an Egg McMuffin, etc.
Fassbender portrays the assassin character who is referred to simply as “the killer” in the credits. He just keeps moving forward, like a shark, jettisoning anything and everything that is no longer necessary, that might be evidence, that might slow him down or weigh him down in the process.
There is one scene in the movie where he goes to a locker, gets something he needs for a hit that he ordered on Amazon, rips open the Amazon box, and then immediately throws it in the garbage bin, right there in front of him. He doesn’t take it home and he doesn’t put it in the corner until Tuesday when the recycling will be collected. In the end, he just threw it away.
Initially, I was confounded by Fincher’s decision to show this extremely mundane procedural detail in his film. I would like to point out that Fincher is nothing if not deliberate, and this shot has a strange power to it.
There is something vicariously satisfying, even thrilling, about watching Fassbender quickly dispose of superfluous cardboard in such a neat and efficient manner. Almost unconsciously, I thought to myself in the dark theater as I sat there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could live your life like that?
Despite the fact that The Killer is regarded as a relatively disposable crime thriller, it is also a knowing, sharply self-referential piece about its director’s own psychopathology.
According to the film’s plot, a hitman must work his way up a chain of handlers, sources, rivals, and clients to stay alive and clean up the mess after a contract goes awry. Almost like a parody of a David Fincher film, this film is filled with glossy visuals, meticulous set pieces, and gruesome violence.
The Smiths’ songs, The Killer, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ electronica, and Fassbender’s monotonous, zonked-out internal monologue keep the pace moving.
With his buttoned-down professionalism and slyly evasive lack of identification, he seems to be a stand-in for Fincher himself, an obsessive perfectionist auteur in plain sight as a mainstream director for hire. Even so, the killer is also a bit of a doofus, which is thematically fascinating even if it can be frustrating at times.
David Fincher may be Hollywood’s head sicko. Under cover of the uncanny, uncomfortably precise insight he has into the twisted shit audiences enjoy seeing, he sneaks his own dark desires into his movies. With The Killer, he has achieved one of his most satisfying vicarious spectacles: the simple act of disposal. In the case of a human life, this may not be so simple.